Mediterranean ClimateMediterranean climates are typical of all of the land that surrounds the coast of the Mediterranean. In fact, Mediterranean climate refers not just to climates in the region, but also to climates of this type all over the world: in Southern California, Western Australia, and even Vancouver Island in Canada. Technically the Mediterranean climate is a subtropical climate, with typically moderate temperatures. Usually regions with this climate are heavily populated because of the desirable weather conditions. Generally the Mediterranean has two major seasons. The winter is cool and wet, usually peaking from October to May. The summer (peaking from June to August) is quite dry and rainfall is very unusual. Although the temperatures in summer get incredibly hot, it often does not feel this way. Cool breezes are typical in all Mediterranean lands, making the summers very pleasant, especially in areas directly on the coast or on the higher slopes of the hills. During the Mediterranean summer, the sky is almost always cloudless and sunny. In modern times, direct sunlight poses quite a significant environmental hazard, since when nitrogen oxides mix with pollutants in sunlight, smog forms.
Rain is directly dependent on the patterns of the seasons, and it is brought to the Bible lands by frontal storms that move westward. Throughout the summer, rain cannot fall because of the dominance of high pressure zones in the area. Even during the winter months, precipitation is variable, and never particularly plentiful. It can, however, be extremely destructive. Rain can come suddenly, in torrential downpours. This provides challenges for farmers, who had to develop special methods for trapping water during the brief but intense periods of rainfall in some years. It also creates problems for people living on hill slopes, as landslides are unpredictable and destructive. In other years, rain may fall consistently, in small amounts, throughout the winter months. In some of the outlying areas with a higher altitude, snow is a possibility, and even the city of Jerusalem is known to have the occasional snowfall.